Respect for People Toyota Style

In a recent blog post, Lesa Nichols asks the question, “If I respect you, how do you know?” Lesa Nichols is a Lean Management Consultant who understands the heart of people showing respect for employees.

People showing respect for employee birthdaysLesa contrasts respect in the form of things and programs with respect Toyota Style. She asks you to consider the work people are asked to do. Here are her questions for you to consider. 

“Does the work:

  • foster a sense of accomplishment at the end of every day?
  • demonstrate that the organization could not meet customer needs without them?
  • encourage them to raise problems and solutions without a sense of fear?
  • arrange their worksite so that it is comfortable and logical to them?
  • show them how their work is connected to the rest of the work being done?
  • require that they think about the work and how it could be improved?”


Let’s go back to Lesa’s question. If (as a manager or leader) I respect you, how do you know? The answer? I can answer yes to all the questions – or at least aspire to be able to answer yes. 

Sure, daycare is great. There’s nothing wrong with employee appreciation day. Many people like it when their managers remember their birthdays. But random acknowledgements and a menu of perks doesn’t make up for treating employees and workers as hired hands rather than thinking people. Check out Lesa’s new blog and read the entire post, Respect for People. 

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